Ephesians 5:19-20 Commentary

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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

The Epistle to the Ephesians...is one of the divinest compositions of man. It embraces every doctrine of Christianity;--first, those doctrines peculiar to Christianity, and then those precepts common to it with natural religion. -- Samuel T. Coleridge

The Epistle to the Ephesians embraces, in its brevity, the whole field of the Christian religion. It expounds now its doctrines, now its morals, with such conciseness and such fulness combined that it would be difficult to name any great doctrine, or any essential duty, which has not its place marked in this Epistle. -- Adolphe Monod

The Root The Fruit
Spiritual Wealth Spiritual Walk
Christian Privilege Christian Conduct
The Position
of the Believer
The Practice
of the Believer
God Sees
Us in Christ
World Sees
Christ in Us
Privilege Practice
Doctrine Duty
Doctrinal Practical
Revelation Responsibility
Belief Behavior
of the Believer
of the Believer
Our Heritage
In Christ
Our Life
In Christ
Know your
Resources (Riches) in Christ
Live by faith in the light of your
Resources (Riches) in Christ
The Finished Work
of Christ
The Faithful Walk
of the Christian
of Christ
In Us
of Christ
Through Us
in Christ
in Us
of God
of the Christian
Who You Are
In Christ
Whose You Are
In Christ
Identity Responsibility
of the Believer
of the Believer
Theology Ethics

Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: lalountes (PAPMPN) heautois [en] psalmois kai humnois kai odais pneumatikais, adontes (PAPMPN) kai psallontes (PAPMPN) te kardia humon to kurio,

Amplified: Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of God! (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, (Eerdmans)

Young's Literal: speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER IN PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS: lalountes (PAPMPN) heautois [en] psalmois kai humnois kai odais pneumatikais:


Notice that the first evidence Paul records that identifies a person who is filled with the Spirit is the character of the WORDS that come out of their mouth! In other words, our speech is a good "barometer" of whether we are filled with (controlled by) the Spirit. Are you as convicted as I am?

Literally the Greek reads speaking with yourselves which refers to believers as a community. 

Wuest explains the sense of this literal translation writing that "this translation is open to misinterpretation, namely, that of each Christian communing with himself, which is not the idea. Saints are to speak to one another. That is, in letting other saints know of their joy in salvation, they are to do so in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They are to find expression to the Spirit-filled life in this way. 

Boice discussed how D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (in his famous 8 volume work on Ephesians) began a new book of sermons on Ephesians 5:18 and entitled it Life in the Spirit (Eph 5:18-6:9) -- It shows that in the writer's opinion the "Spirit-filled" life is not to be measured merely by one's private morality or even by one's private spiritual experience but by how one conducts himself or herself with other persons. In this epistle the apostle highlights three sets of relationships: that of wives to husbands and husbands to wives, that of children to parents and parents to children, and that of slaves (servants, employees) to masters.

John Calvin - As the soul does not live idly in the body, but gives motion and vigour to every member and part, so the Spirit of God cannot dwell in us without manifesting Himself by the outward effects.

Oswald Chambers I think was correct when he wrote that "There is one thing we cannot imitate; we cannot imitate being full of the Holy Ghost."

Frank Gaebelein was also correct when he wrote "We may take it as a rule of the Christian life that the more we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the more we shall glorify the Lord Jesus."

The Net Bible has an interesting note - In Eph 5:18 the author gives the command to be filled by means of the Holy Spirit. In Ep 5:19, 20, 21 there follows five participles: (1) speaking; (2) singing; (3) making music; (4) giving thanks; (5) submitting. These participles have been variously interpreted, but perhaps the two most likely interpretations are (1) the participles indicate the means by which one is filled by the Spirit; (2) the participles indicate the result of being filled by the Spirit. The fact that the participles are present tense and follow the command (i.e., “be filled”) would tend to support both of these options. But it seems out of Paul’s character to reduce the filling of the Spirit to a formula of some kind. To the extent that this is true, it is unlikely then that the author is here stating the means for being filled by the Spirit. Because it is in keeping with Pauline theology and has good grammatical support, it is better to take the participles as indicating certain results of being filled by the Spirit. (Ephesians 5 Notes)

John Stott  - People who are drunk give way to wild, dissolute and uncontrolled actions. They behave like animals, indeed worse than animals. The results of being filled with the Spirit are totally different. If excessive alcohol dehumanizes, turning a human being into a beast, the fullness of the Spirit makes us more human, for he makes us like Christ. (Stott, J. R. W. God's New Society : The Message of Ephesians . Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press)

Speaking (2980) (laleo) originally just of sounds like chatter of birds, prattling of children then used of the highest form of speech. It was also used for a grunting of animals when they made those animal sounds. In its most basic sense laleo simply means to use the voice to make a sound and in this context the sound is a song. The speaking is the singing and it the singing that makes the sound. The qualifier is that these sounds come from a Spirit-filled heart. The present tense indicates it is a Spirit filled believer's lifestyle. The sounds that please the Lord are the sounds that come from a Spirit-filled heart. Have you ever experienced the joy of singing with a group all of whom were genuinely Spirit filled? You cannot come much nearer to heaven's door!

Eadie comments that "Under the relaxing influence of wine the tongue is loosened, and the unrestrained conversation too often passes into that species of language, the infamy of which the apostle has already exposed…The apostle refers certainly to social intercourse, and in all probability also, and at the same time, to meetings for Divine service. The heathen festivals were noted for intemperate revelry and song, but the Christian congregation was to set an example of hallowed exhilaration and rapture. The pages of Clement of Alexandria throw some light on such ancient practices. (Ephesians 5 Commentary - somewhat technical but with excellent insights)

Vincent says that laleo is "used of speaking, in contrast with or as a breaking of silence, voluntary or imposed. Thus the dumb man, after he was healed, spake (Mt 9:33 "And after the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled, saying (lego), "Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel.") and Zacharias, when his tongue was loosed, began to speak (Lu 1:64 "And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God") The use of the word laleo … contemplates the fact rather than the substance of speech. Hence it is used of God (Heb 1:1), the point being, not what God said, but the fact that he spake to men. On the contrary, lego refers to the matter of speech. The verb originally means to pick out, and hence to use words selected as appropriate expressions of thought, and to put such words together in orderly discourse." (Vincent, M. R. Word studies in the New Testament).

Kenneth Wuest  - Laleo (was) used originally just of sounds like the chatter of birds, the prattling of children, (but was also used) of the most serious kind of speech. It takes note of the sound and the manner of speaking. One thinks of the words in the song In the Garden; “He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing.”)

As an example Wuest notes that when Jesus healed a deaf man who had difficultly speaking the multitude

were utterly astonished, saying (lego), “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak (laleo).” (Mk 7:37).

Wuest explains that in this verse laleo is used to emphasize "not the matter, but the fact of speech. The crowd was not interested in what the man was saying, but in the fact that he was able to express himself articulately." (Ibid)

Robertson says that laleo contrasts with the other NT word for speak (lego) in that laleo is

rather an onomatopoetic word (laleo > la-la) with some emphasis on the sound and manner of speaking. The word is common in the vernacular papyri examples of social intercourse. (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

One another (1438) (heautou) is a reflexive pronoun in the third person = in the singular, a reflexive reference to a person or thing spoken or written about, and in the plural, a reflexive reference to any and all persons or things involved as subjects of the clause (including first, second and third persons)—‘himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.’ Heautou can also be a marker of reciprocal relationship as in this verse and is translated each other or one another.

Related Resource:

Jamieson commenting on one another writes…

Hence soon arose the antiphonal or responsive chanting of which PLINY writes to Trajan: "They are wont on a fixed day to meet before daylight [to avoid persecution] and to recite a hymn among themselves by turns, to Christ, as if being God." The Spirit gives true eloquence; wine, a spurious eloquence.

Tertullian, writing from North Africa toward the end of the same century, describes a Christian feast at which "Each is invited to sing to God in the presence of others from what he knows of the holy scripture or from his own heart."

Psalms (5568) (psalmos from psállo = to sing, chant - see TDNT note below) refers to a set piece of music, sacred ode (accompanied with voice, harp or other instrument; a "psalm"). Psalmos originally meant a touching, and then a touching of the harp or other stringed instruments with the finger or with the plectrum. Later it referred to the instrument itself, and finally psalmos became known as the song sung with musical accompaniment.

Eadie says that psalmos is "from psallein—to strike the lyre, is, according to its derivation, a sacred song chanted to the accompaniment of instrumental music… This specific idea was lost in course of time, and the word retained only the general sense of a sacred poetical composition (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

TDNT - Psállo first seems to mean “to touch,” then it takes on the sense “to pluck” (a string), and finally it means “to play” (an instrument). Psállo occurs some 50 times for “to play a stringed instrument” (mostly in Psalms, 1 Samuel, and 2 Kings). The idea of a song of praise is often suggested. Psalmos means “plucking,” then “playing” (a stringed instrument). (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

NIDNTT - In secular Greek psallo is used from Homer onwards, originally meaning to pluck (hair), to twang a bow-string, and then pluck a harp, or any other stringed instrument. The noun psalmos refers in general to the sound of the instrument, or the actual production of the sound. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

Vine writes that psalmos - primarily denoted “a striking or twitching with the fingers (on musical strings)”; then, “a sacred song, sung to musical accompaniment, a psalm.” It is used (a) of the OT book of “Psalms,” Luke 20:42; 24:44; Acts 1:20; (b) of a particular “psalm,” Acts 13:33 (cf. v. Acts 13:35); (c) of “psalms” in general, 1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16. (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary)

There are 7 uses of psalmos in the NT -

Luke 20:42 "For David himself says in the book of Psalms, 'The Lord said to my LORD, "Sit at My right hand,

Jesus quoting from Ps 110:1

Luke 24:44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

Jesus explaining that the Psalms prophesied about Him and "must be fulfilled"

Acts 1:20 "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his homestead be made desolate, And let no man dwell in it'; and, 'His office let another man take.'

Peter explained by quoting Ps 69:25, 109:8 that Judas' defection and the choice of a replacement were in God's purpose

Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee.' (Paul quoting Psalm 2:7)

1 Corinthians 14:26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

ESV translates psalmos as "hymn" for reasons I cannot discern.

Eadie writes that psalmos in this verse " signifies the improvised effusion of one who possessed some of the charismata, or gifts of the early church." (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

Ephesians 5:19 (Context = Eph 5:18) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; (speaking to one another in psalms was one sign a person was filled with the Spirit)

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell (present imperative - not a suggestion, but a command to make dwelling/living in His Book our lifestyle…intake of His daily bread is to be our daily practice! cp Mt 4:4) within you, with all wisdom (From where? God's Word taught by God's Spirit!) teaching and admonishing one another (Speaking Scripture to each other! Want to know if you are filled with His Word and His Spirit? Check the words with which you interact with others -- your mate, your children, fellow believers, etc) with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (as noted elsewhere this sign [speaking, thankful spirit] of being filled with the Spirit is also a sign of being filled with the Word of Christ - see Eph 5:19 above)

Psalmos - 80x in the Septuagint (LXX)-

1Sa 16:18; 2Sa 23:1; Job 21:12; 30:31; Ps 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1; 8:1; 9:1; 11:1; 12:1; 13:1; 14:1; 15:1; 19:1; 20:1; 21:1; 22:1; 23:1; 24:1; 25:1; 29:1; 30:1; 31:1; 38:1; 40:1; 41:1; 43:1; 44:1; 46:1; 47:1; 48:1; 49:1; 50:1; 51:1; 62:1; 63:1; 64:1; 65:1; 66:1; 67:1; 68:1; 71:22; 73:1; 75:1; 76:1; 77:1; 79:1; 80:1; 81:1f; 82:1; 83:1; 84:1; 85:1; 87:1; 88:1; 92:1; 94:1; 95:2; 98:1, 5; 99:1; 100:1; 101:1; 108:1; 109:1; 110:1; 139:1; 140:1; 141:1; 143:1; 147:1; Is 66:20; La 3:14; 5:14; Amos 5:23; Zec 6:14

Vincent adds that psalmos is the "noun psalm (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1Cor. 14:26), which is etymologically akin to this verb (psallo), is used in the New Testament of a religious song in general, having the character of an Old-Testament psalm. A psalm was originally a song accompanied by a stringed instrument. The idea of accompaniment passed away in usage, and the psalm, in New-Testament phraseology, is an Old-Testament psalm, or a composition having that character.

Hymns (5215) (humnos/hymnos) refers to a song of praise, a song in honor of God or generally to a song with religious content. It also came to mean praise to men. Whereas a psalm is the story of man's deliverance or a commemoration of mercies received, a hymn is a magnificat, a declaration of how great someone or something is (Lu 1:46-55, 67-79; Acts 4:24; 16:25). It is a direct address of praise and glory to God.

The only other NT uses of humnos is in Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ richly dwell (present imperative) within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (note).

Comment: Clearly being filled with God's Spirit parallels being filled with God's Word as demonstrated by the fact that the effects of both "fillings" are almost identical.

Humnos/hymnos - 16 uses in the Septuagint (LXX)-

2Chr. 7:6; Neh 12:46; Ps 6:1; 40:3; 54:1; 55:1; 61:1; 65:1; 67:1; 72:20; 76:1; 100:4; 119:171; 137:3; 148:14; Isa 42:10

NIDNTT explains that "hymnos (is) of uncertain origin, is something sung, a song. The word appears from Homer onwards in secular Greek. There is no one particular metrical form. Rather, hymnos is a general word used to include the most varied poetical forms. All along, the word hymnos is used for recited as well as for sung poetry. The secular sense is not always clearly distinguished from cultic. The following meanings of hymneo may be mentioned: (1) to sing of, celebrate, in poetry or prose; (2) to discuss, tell repeatedly, recite; (3) (pass.) ring (in one’s ears). Various formations occur, including the following after 300 B.C.: hymnos, lauding or praising, hymn or song-recital, or collection of songs; hymnagores, singer of hymns or songs; hymnologia, hymn-singing, songs. They are in part examples of late linguistic usages, which found hymneo too weak a word, and used it to mean to write or sing a song. In general, hymnos refers to songs to the gods, particularly a song in praise of the divinity, as distinct perhaps from epainos, praise given to men. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

Eadie writes that hymns "are also sacred poetical compositions, the primary purpose of which is to praise, as may be seen in those instances in which the verb occurs, Acts 16:25; Heb 2:12. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

According to Augustine a hymn has three characteristics: It must be sung; it must be praise; it must be to God.

The word "hymn" nowhere occurs in the writings of the apostolic fathers possibly because it was used as a praise to heathen deities and thus the early Christians instinctively shrank from it.

Obviously our English words "psalms" and "hymns" are transliterations from the Greek words.

Spiritual (4152) (pneumatikos from pneúma = spirit. + suffix = "-ikos" on the end of an adjective signifies “-like”) means something like pertaining to the (divine) spirit, “belonging to the spirit", "of the nature of the spirit", and thus "pertaining to that which is spiritual".

There are 26 uses of pneumatikos in the NT -

Ro 1:11 (referring to spiritual gift); Ro 7:14 (referring to the law); Ro 15:27 (referring to blessings); 1Co. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3, 4; 12:1; 14:1, 37; 15:44, 46; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; 6:12; Col. 1:9; 3:16; 1Pe 2:5

Eadie comments that "in all other passages where ( pneumatikos) is used to qualify Christian men, or Christian blessings, its ruling reference is plainly to the Holy Spirit. Thus—spiritual gifts, Ro 1:11; a special endowment of the Spirit, 1Cor. 12:1, 14:1, etc.; spiritual men, that is, men enjoying in an eminent degree the Spirit, 1Cor. 2:15, 14:37; and also in Gal. 6:1; Ro 7:14; Ep 5:19; Col. 3:16; and in 1Cor. 2:13, “spiritual” means produced by or belonging to the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

Songs (5603) (oide from aido = to sing, always signifying praise to God) is a generic term for any words sung or for songs in general, thus needing modification by "spiritual" in this context. The qualifier of "spiritual" was important because of the fact that the original use of singing among both believers and idolaters was in the confessions and praises of the respective gods.

Ode by itself might mean any kind of song, as of battle, harvest, festal, whereas psalm, from its Hebrew use, and hymn, from its Gr. use, did not require any such qualification.

Eadie writes that song or "ode is a general term, and denotes the natural outburst of an excited bosom—the language of the sudden impulses of an Oriental temperament. Such odes as were allowed to Christians are termed “spiritual,” that is, prompted by the Spirit which filled them. But the psalms and hymns are already marked out as consecrated, and needed no such additional epithet. For the prevailing meaning of the adjective. Odes of this nature are found in Scripture, as that of Hannah (1Sa 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) at her boy's consecration, that of the Mary, and that of Zachariah on the birth of his son. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

John MacArthur has an interesting comment noting that "For over a thousand dark years of its history (c. 500–1500) the church in general did not sing. From shortly after New Testament times until the Reformation, what music the church had was usually performed by professional musicians. The music they presented could not be understood or appreciated by the average church member. In any case, they could only sit and listen, unable to participate. But when the Bible came back into the church during the Reformation, singing came with it. Martin Luther and some of the other Reformation leaders are among the greatest hymn writers of church history. Where the true gospel is known and believed, music is loved and sung. God’s Spirit in the heart puts music in the heart… In his great allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan pictured the pilgrim, Christian, falling into the slough of despond, straying into doubting castle, and enduring many other hardships, frustrations, and failures. And though the expression “filled with the Spirit” is not used in the story, each time Christian is delivered we see him going on his way singing. Every time he came back under the Spirit’s control he had a song in his heart. (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Charles Hodge explains that "A psalm was a hymn, and a hymn a song. Still there was a distinction between them, as there is still. A “psalm” was, as its etymology shows, a song designed to be sung with the accompaniment of instrumental music. It was one of the sacred poems contained in the book of Psalms, as in Acts 13:33, “in the second Psalm,” and Acts 1:20, “in the book of Psalms.” It could also be any sacred poem formed on the model of the Old Testament Psalms, as in 1 Corinthians 14:26, where “psalm,” kjv appears to mean such a song given by divine inspiration, and not one of the psalms of David. A “hymn” was a song of praise to God, a divine song. Psalms and hymns then, as now, were religious songs; songs were religious or secular, and therefore those intended here are described as spiritual. The word may mean either “inspired”—i.e., derived from the Spirit—or expressing spiritual thoughts and feelings. The latter is the more probable, as it is not only inspired people who are said to be filled with the Spirit, but all those who in their ordinary thoughts and feelings are governed by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

Harry Ironside commenting on speaking to one another in psalms, etc writes…

The world considers that a man who talks to himself is a bit queer, but that is not always the case. It is well sometimes for us to sit down and talk to ourselves about things in our lives. What the apostle is saying here is really, "Speaking to one another, to the entire company." How? "In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." As we meet with one another, greeting each other in a glad, happy way, the praises of the Lord bubble up in our souls. Psalms were the vehicle of expression in the congregation of God in olden times. The book of Psalms was the hymn-book of the congregation of the Lord in ancient times, and there are wonderful expressions there that suit every mood of the human heart. While we do not rise to the height of the Christian's privilege in the book of Psalms yet we can find something to express every state and condition of our souls as we come into the presence of God. A hymn is an ascription of praise addressed directly to the Deity. (Ironside's Notes on Ephesians)

"Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our songs shall rise to Thee."
Reginald Heber
, (Play Hymn)

How the Christian heart naturally goes out to God in hymns of worship and adoration. No more worldly songs for the Christian. The day is gone, or should be, when he can sing the worldly songs. I always think a Christian has dropped from the high level on which he belongs when I hear him singing such songs, because he has something better, he has spiritual songs, songs that tell of the love of Christ, of what grace hath wrought, that tell of redemption by the precious blood of Jesus. Who would sing the old songs when we have learned the new?

"We will sing of the Shepherd that died,
That died for the sake of the flock,
His love to the utmost was tried,
But firmly endured as a rock;

We will sing of such subjects alone,
None others our tongues shall employ,
Till fully His love becomes known,
In yonder bright regions of joy."

One reason that the spirituality of the Church is at such a low ebb today is because people are so careless about matters of this kind, so ready to drop down from the high and holy state that should characterize those that are filled with the Spirit of God. (Ephesians - Expository Commentary)

R Kent Hughes rightly observes that "Spirit-filled people overflow in song! This has been attested again and again in times of great spiritual blessing. That is the way it was in the awakening under St. Francis, the Troubadour of God. In the Reformation, Martin Luther brought hymn singing to the Church. During the Wesleyan Revival, Charles Wesley wrote 6,000 hymns. When Charles Simeon (audio by John Piper) preached in Holy Trinity in Cambridge and there was that great outpouring of blessing among his enthusiastic people at the beginning of the evangelical movement, another disapproving church in Cambridge hung a new bell in its tower with the inscription, "Glory to the Church and damnation to the enthusiasts."[John A. Mackay, God's Order (New York: Macmillan, 1953), p. 181]. One wonders whose damnation it rang. Think of the music which came with Moody and Sankey, and more recently during the spiritual harvest of the late 1960s. There is a sense in which when people are born again, music is "born again" in their souls. And if they remain full of the Spirit, life brings an ongoing symphony of soul. (Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ (Preaching the Word -Preaching the Word 1990)

SINGING AND MAKING MELODY WITH YOUR HEART TO THE LORD: adontes (PAPMPN) kai psallontes (PAPMPN) te kardia humon to kurio:

Phillips paraphrase says "making music in your hearts for the ears of God!"

Singing (103) (aido) means to sing, always of praise to God. Note that in this section, the singing is not ‘to one another’ but ‘to the Lord’.

I like the way Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it - "If it were possible to put the Holy Spirit into a textbook of pharmacology I would put Him under the stimulants, for that is where He belongs.

Jamieson writes that in your heart means…

not merely with the tongue; but the serious feeling of the heart accompanying the singing of the lips (compare 1Co 14:15 Ps 47:7). The contrast is between the heathen and the Christian practice, "Let your songs be not the drinking songs of heathen feasts, but psalms and hymns; and their accompaniment, not the music of the lyre, but the melody of the heart" [Conybeare and Howson].

John Stott has an interesting comment on making melody with your heart to the Lord … writing that this is "an instruction from which unmusical people unable to sing in tune have always derived much comfort. In this case it may be silent worship, although at the same time inwardly joyful and melodious. Without doubt Spirit-filled Christians have a song of joy in their hearts, and Spirit-filled public worship is a joyful celebration of God’s mighty acts, though J. Armitage Robinson suggests that Paul ‘contrasts the merriment of wine with the sober gladness of sacred psalmody’." (Ibid)

Making Melody (5567)(psallo from psao = touch lightly, twang, snap) means literally to strike the strings of an instrument. So the idea is sing to the accompaniment of a harp;

Zodhiates - Musicians who play upon an instrument were said to pluck the strings (psálloun chordás) or simply pluck (psálloun). The word came to signify the making of music in any fashion. Because stringed instruments were commonly used both by believers and heathen in singing praises to their respective gods, it meant to sing, sing praises or psalms to God whether with or without instruments (Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament)

Psallo - 4x in the NT - Ro 15:9+ = "I will sing to Your Name"; 1 Co. 14:15 = "I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also."; Eph. 5:19+; Jas. 5:13

Psallo in the Septuagint

Jdg. 5:3; 1 Sam. 16:16; 1 Sam. 16:17; 1 Sam. 16:23; 1 Sam. 19:9; 2 Sam. 22:50; 2 Ki. 3:15; Ps. 7:17; Ps. 9:2; Ps. 9:11; Ps. 13:5; Ps. 18:49; Ps. 21:13; Ps. 27:6; Ps. 30:4; Ps. 30:12; Ps. 33:2; Ps. 33:3; Ps. 47:6; Ps. 47:7; Ps. 57:7; Ps. 57:9; Ps. 59:17; Ps. 61:8; Ps. 66:2; Ps. 66:4; Ps. 68:4; Ps. 68:25; Ps. 68:32; Ps. 68:33; Ps. 69:12; Ps. 71:22; Ps. 71:23; Ps. 75:9; Ps. 92:1; Ps. 98:4; Ps. 98:5; Ps. 101:1; Ps. 104:33; Ps. 105:2; Ps. 108:1; Ps. 108:3; Ps. 135:3; Ps. 138:1; Ps. 144:9; Ps. 146:2; Ps. 147:7; Ps. 149:3

Gilbrant on psallo -  In classical Greek the verb psallō means “to pluck, pull” in a very general sense, such as to “pluck out a hair” or “to pull a bowstring.” It is also used with a technical meaning “to play a stringed musical instrument” on which the strings were plucked rather than struck with a mallet. The usage of psallō in the Septuagint, however, introduces an expansion of its meaning. Twelve times it is used to translate Hebrew nāghan, “to play a stringed instrument,” in keeping with its technical use in classical Greek. However, nearly 40 times the Septuagint uses psallō to translate Hebrew zāmar, “to make music in praise of God” (Brown-Driver-Briggs, “zmr,” Hebrew Lexicon, p.274). This Hebrew word describes music made either by musical instruments or vocally, and thus can also mean “to sing.” In some Old Testament contexts it is apparent that zāmar/psallō refer to singing that is accompanied by instruments (cf. Psalm 66:4). As a result, the meaning of psallō began to be extended to include “to sing,” and by Modern Greek it had come to mean this exclusively (Bauer).

Play the beautiful simple chorus "I Sing Praises to Your Name"

Ephesians 5:19-22 illustrates what
the Spirit-filled life should look like

This verse applies not so much to congregational singing, as to "melody in your heart." Such a life will be fruitful (Ephesians 5:9), active (Ephesians 5:16), understanding (Ephesians 5:17), joyful (Ephesians 5:19), thankful (Ephesians 5:20), and submissive (Ephesians 5:21). It will also be bold in witnessing (Acts 4:31). Actually I think the effects of the Spirit filled life include everything mentioned between Eph 5:19 and Eph 6:20 (marital and familial relationships, employer/employee relations, spiritual warfare, praying without ceasing, witnessing boldly). 

An excellent illustration of Spirit filled singing is found in Acts 16, welling up from the dungeons at Philippi sometime around midnight, Luke recording…

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's chains were unfastened. 27 And when the jailer had been roused out of sleep and had seen the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!" 29 And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:25-31-note)

Comment: And what the result of their Spirit filled praying and singing? Salvation for the jailer and his household!

Wiersbe - Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Christian joy is not a shallow emotion that, like a thermometer, rises and falls with the changing atmosphere of the home. Rather, Christian joy is a deep experience of adequacy and confidence in spite of the circumstances around us. The Christian can be joyful even in the midst of pain and suffering. This kind of joy is not a thermometer but a thermostat. Instead of rising and falling with the circumstances, it determines the spiritual temperature of the circumstances. Paul put it beautifully when he wrote, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (See note Philippians 4:11). (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

In your heart - Stedman writes that this phrase refers to…

that inward bubbling that means that no matter how bad things are outside, inside they are wonderful. You know God is in control and he is working things out and you cannot be troubled even though they are all wrong on the outside. (Ephesians 5:15-20: Watch How You Walk)

Eadie comments on making melody in your heart - Theodoret comes nearer our view when he says—“He sings with his heart who not only moves his tongue, but also excites his mind to the understanding of the sentiments repeated"… Now this silent playing in the heart will be that sincere and genuine emotion, which ought to accompany sacred song. The heart pulsates in unison with the melody. Mere music is but an empty sound; for compass of voice, graceful execution, and thrilling notes are a vain offering in themselves. The Fathers complained sometimes that the mere melody of the church service took away attention from the spirit and meaning of the exercise. Thus Jerome says justly on this passage—“Let young men hear this: let those hear it who have the office of singing in the church, that they sing not with their voice, but with their heart, to the Lord; not like tragedians physically preparing their throat and mouth, that they may sing after the fashion of the theatre in the church. He that has but an ill voice, if he has good works, is a sweet singer before God.” … “Let the servant of Christ so order his singing, that the words which are read may please more than the voice of the singer; that the spirit which was in Saul may be cast out of them who are possessed with it, and not find admittance in those who have turned the house of God into a stage and theatre of the people.” (Ephesians 5 Commentary)

Moule writes that "The sounds were but to express the praising souls. And all this was to be done, not as "music-worship," (God forbid,) but as worship full of music, paid to the remembered, adored, loved, present Lord. Such singing—and no other—is audible upon the Throne. (Ephesian Studies- Expository Readings on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians)

Heart (2588) (kardia) (Click word study of kardia) does not refer to the physical organ but is always used figuratively in Scripture to refer to the seat and center of human life. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotions, and will. No outward obedience is of the slightest value unless the heart turns to God. The heart is the wellspring of man’s spiritual life.

While kardia does represent the inner person, the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality, in Scripture it represents much more than emotion, feelings. It also includes the thinking process and particularly the will. For example, in Proverbs we are told, “As (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4). The heart is the control center of mind and will as well as emotion.

Vine writes that kardia "came to denote man’s entire mental and moral activities, and to stand figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life, and so here signifies the seat of thought and feeling." (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson )

MacArthur commentsg on kardia - "While we often relate heart to the emotions (e.g., “He has a broken heart”), the Bible relates it primarily to the intellect (e.g., “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders,” Matt 15:19). That’s why you must “watch over your heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23). In a secondary way, however, heart relates to the will and emotions because they are influenced by the intellect. If you are committed to something, it will affect your will, which in turn will affect your emotions." (Drawing Near. Crossway Books) MacArthur adds that "In most modern cultures, the heart is thought of as the seat of emotions and feelings. But most ancients—Hebrews, Greeks, and many others—considered the heart to be the center of knowledge, understanding, thinking, and wisdom. The New Testament also uses it in that way. The heart was considered to be the seat of the mind and will, and it could be taught what the brain could never know. Emotions and feelings were associated with the intestines, or bowels." (Ephesians. 1986. Chicago: Moody Press)

Lord (2962) (kurios) signifies sovereign power and absolute authority. He is the one Who has absolute ownership and uncontested power.

Johann Sebastian Bach said it well "The aim of all music is the glory of God."

John MacArthur rightly states that "The words of every Christian song should be biblical—distinctly, clearly, and accurately reflecting the teaching of God’s Word. It is tragic that much music that goes under the name of Christian is a theological mishmash, often reflecting as much of the world’s philosophy as of God’s truth. Much is little more than personal sentimentality colored with Christian words. (MacArthur, J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Wayne Barber writes that…

singing is a result of being filled with the Spirit of God… That’s a Spirit-filled life. What does that mean? That means a life where every room of the heart, where the Spirit lives, has been opened up. Jesus in His light and love and life has permeated those rooms. Out of that heart, that has been cleansed by His blood and filled with His presence, comes a song to the lips and to the mind. It is always there. Singing is just something that erupts in a person’s life who is filled with the Spirit of God. Something about the Holy Spirit produces that music in a person’s heart. That doesn’t mean you can carry a tune, it simply means that you can make a joyful noise. There is a song in your heart.

A person says, "Well, I have a great ability to sing. That must mean that I am filled with the Spirit." No. People who can’t carry a tune can make a joyful sound. It doesn’t mean that you can sing as well as other people. It means that you’ve got a song in your heart. It means that somehow music now fills up your life and there is something that makes sense in your life. There is just that song that erupts out of your heart. Psalm 40 says,

"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned" (Ps 40:1-4)

That is always the way it is. It is a new song, a fresh song. It is something that God puts within your soul. (Ephesians 5:18-21)

John Wesley wrote the following interesting "Instructions in Singing"…

THAT this part of divine worship may be more acceptable to God, as well as more profitable to yourself and others, be careful to observe the following directions:

1. SING ALL - See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find a blessing.

2. SING LUSTILY AND WITH A GOOD COURAGE - Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being, heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan.

3. SING MODESTLY - Do not bawl, so as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound.

4. SING IN TIME - Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before, nor stay behind it; but attend closely to the leading voices, and move therewith as exactly as you can. And take care you sing not too slow. This drawling way naturally steals on all who are lazy; and it is high time to drive it out from among us, and sing all our tunes just as quick as we did at first.

5. ABOVE ALL, SING SPIRITUALLY - Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing; and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve of here, and reward when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.


In the book "Fools Gold" in the section subtitled "Practicing Discernment in Your Local Church", Chapter 7 is called the "Solid Rock? What the Bible Says about Contemporary Worship Music". In this section John MacArthur gives an excellent critique on Christian music. Here is his introduction…

Sadly, Christians today need to exercise discernment in their local churches probably more than anywhere else. Whether due to poor preaching or a wrong philosophy of ministry, many local churches suffer because they lack the ability to distinguish sound doctrine from false teaching. To complicate matters, many believers have different opinions about preferential issues—sometimes causing unnecessary splits in the body of Christ. Discernment is needed for these situations as well, such that biblical principle and Christian grace may prevail. With this in mind, this chapter focuses on the often controversial topic of contemporary worship music. Should the church only sing hymns, should it only sing praise choruses, or should it land somewhere in the middle? And what are the biblical principles for determining these standards? This chapter addresses those very questions.

Comment: The interested reader is encouraged to read Dr MacArthur's fairly lengthy treatise on Christian music, especially if you are having "music wars" in your congregation - at the end of the chapter there is a checklist for assessing music that is appropriate to church worship and it asks and discusses 10 questions including - Is the music God focused? Is it orderly? Is the content of the words sound doctrinally? Does the music promote unity? Is the music performed with excellence? Does the music prepare the congregation for the preaching of the Word? Does the music adorn the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Does the music promote passionate worship? Is the church's overall philosophy of music based on sound Biblical principles? Fool's Gold is available in book form - Fool's Gold - Discerning Truth in an Age of Error (Articles by John MacArthur)

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father(NASB: Lockman)

Greek: eucharistountes (PAPMPN) pantote huper panton en onomati tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou to theo kai patri,

Amplified: At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

NLT: And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: giving thanks always concerning all things in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father,

Young's Literal: giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the God and Father;

ALWAYS GIVING THANKS FOR ALL THINGS: eucharistountes (PAPMPN) pantote huper panton:


See Related Resources:

Always giving thanks - Paul gives us the second evidence that a believer is Spirit filled, the first being an inner joy that places a song in one's heart. 

Literally Paul says the spirit filled life is one of…

Giving thanks always for all things!

If we experience this effect, allowing the Spirit to continually control us, we will discover that His constant filling is an excellent antidote against an attitude of always murmuring about all things!

John Stott rightly remarks that…

The grumbling spirit is not compatible with the Holy Spirit. Grumbling was one of the besetting sins of the people of Israel; they were always ‘murmuring’ against the Lord and against Moses. But the Spirit-filled believer is full not of complaining, but of thanksgiving.

Although the text reads that we are to give thanks always and for everything, we must not press these words literally. For we cannot thank God for absolutely ‘everything’, including blatant evil…

So then the ‘everything’ for which we are to give thanks to God must be qualified by its context, namely in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Our thanksgiving is to be for everything which is consistent with the loving Fatherhood of God and the self-revelation he has given us in Jesus Christ. Once again the doctrine of the Trinity informs and directs our devotion. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we give thanks to God our Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Stott, J. R. W. God's New Society : The Message of Ephesians. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press)

Ray Stedman illustrates this point with a story…

I remember when I was in the Navy we all took our meals in the mess hall. (If you could see the food trays after the serving men had plopped the food on them you would know why they called it a mess hall.) I recall sitting with a Christian friend across the table from a great, burly quartermaster who was a complete pagan, with one of the foulest mouths I have ever heard; that is not uncommon in the Navy. As we always did, we bowed our heads and gave thanks for the food. It happened that my friend disliked the food and began to complain about it. Suddenly this fellow sitting across the table spoke up and said, "Look, didn't you just give thanks for that? Then eat it and shut up!" This was a word in season. You cannot give thanks and complain at the same time. The word to us is, "in everything give thanks."

Now why does it say that? Surely it does not mean in everything? But it does mean in everything, because of what he has just said here. The will of the Lord is that we be put in difficult situations and have unpleasant circumstances in order that we might have opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, do not complain about it. Give thanks, because it will do something to you that nothing else could do. This is what Paul tells us in Second Corinthians, "this light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far exceeding eternal weight of glory," {cf, 2Cor 4:17}. Also, "no chastening for the present seems joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those that are exercised thereby," {cf, Heb 12:11}. God has purpose in all these things. Therefore, give thanks in all things. (Ephesians 5:15-20: Watch How You Walk)

Harry Ironside commenting on giving thanks for all things writes…

"Oh, but," you say, "there are some things I cannot give thanks for, there are some things so hard, so difficult to bear, there are some things that lacerate my very soul." Wait a moment. Have you ever undergone a serious physical operation as a result of which you have been delivered from something that was just wearing out your very life? When you had to undergo it, it seemed very hard, but as you look back upon it, can you not give thanks for the surgeon's knife, can you not give thanks for the very sufferings you had to endure because of the blessed after-result? Very well, Christian, some day,

"When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o'er life's finished story,"

we shall see as we cannot now just why all the hard things were permitted, and how God our Father was seeking to set us free from hindrances and from encumbrances, by pruning the branches from which He wished to get fruit for Himself. In that day we will thank Him for all the sorrow as well as for all the joy. In faith let us do it now. (cp 1Co 13:12,13, 2Co 4:16, 17, 18, Lk 6:22,23, cp Ps 119:67,71 Mt 5:10, 11, 12-note Ro 5:3, 4, 5-note Heb 12:5-note, Heb 12:10,11-note James 1:2, 3,4-note, James 1:12-note; Ro 8:18-note, Ro 8:29-note 1Pe 1:6,7-note)

Nothing can come to me but what His love allows. "All things work together for good," and so a Spirit-filled believer will be loyal and submissive, not the kind who tosses his head and says, "I am not going to have anybody dominate me; I will do what I think and what I like." That is the old walk of our unconverted days, that is the old nature, not the new. (Ironside's Notes)

One little hour to suffer scorn and losses,
Eternal years beyond earth's cruel frowns;
One little hour to carry heavy crosses,
Eternal years to wear unfading crowns. –Anon.

Always (3842) (pántote from pás = all + tóte = then) means at all times. On every occasion. Without interruption. All circumstances. All places.

Giving thanks (2168) (eucharisteo from eucháristos = thankful, grateful, well-pleasing - Indicates the obligation of being thankful to someone for a favor done <> in turn from = well + charízomai = to grant, give.; English - Eucharist) means to show that one is under obligation by being thankful. To show oneself as grateful (most often to God in the NT).

Eucharisteo is a word that at its very core (eu = good + charis = grace) means to acknowledge how good grace is! 

Moulton and Milligan note that eucharisteo originally meant “do a good turn to” or “oblige,” and in late Greek passed readily into the meaning “be grateful,” “give thanks”. Giving thanks is the quality of being grateful, with the implication of also having appropriate (Spirit filled) attitude.

This meaning is common in diplomatic documents in which the recipient of a favor reciprocates with assurance of goodwill. It is also used o express appreciation for benefits or blessings. Giving thanks was an important component of Greco-Roman reciprocity as demonstrated by a copy of a letter written by the Emperor Claudius to a Gymnastic Club expressing his gratification at games performed in his honour. The word eucharista was also common on ancient inscriptions.

Thanksgiving expresses what ought never to be absent from any of our devotions. We should always be ready to express our grateful acknowledgement of past mercies as distinguished form the earnest seeking of future mercies.

TDNT writes that "We first find eucharistos in the senses “pleasant” and “graceful.” Eucharisteo means “to show a favor,” but this imposes a duty of gratitude and the meaning “to be thankful” or “to give thanks” develops. We also find the sense “to pray.” The Greek world held thanksgiving in high esteem. With the ordinary use we find a public use (gratitude to rulers) and a religious use (thanksgiving to the gods for blessings). Thanks are also a constituent part of letters. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

In the Gospels the verb eucharisteo frequently describes Jesus' example of giving thanks (Mt 15:36; 26:27; Mk 8:6; 14:23; Lk 22:17, 19; Jn 6:11, 23; 11:41) Paul was frequently thankful to God for the saints and the grace given to them (1Co 1:4, Ep 1:16 Php 1:3, Col 1:3, 12, 1Th 1:2, 2Th 1:3, 2:13, Philemon 1:4). The effect of the Spirit's filling is a thankful heart (Eph 5:20, cp Col 3:17).

Eucharisteo describes a person who is depending on God’s grace moment by moment. The present tense pictures this as one's lifestyle, a life only possible under the control of the Spirit.

Eucharisteo is found 38 times in the NT (and not in the non-apocryphal LXX) - gave thanks(2), give thanks(9), given thanks(7), gives thanks(2), giving thanks(7),thank(9), thanked(1), thanks(1).

Mt 15:36; Mt 26:27 (Jesus' practice was to give thanks - here before the "last supper"); Mk 8:6; 14:23; Lk 17:16 (only 1/10 cleansed lepers thanked Jesus for healing); Lk 18:11 (pretentious thanks from the Pharisee!); Lk 22:17, 19; Jn 6:11, 23; 11:41 (Jesus' thanks was directed to the Father); Acts 27:35; 28:15; Ro 1:8-note, Ro 1:21-note; Ro 14:6-note; Ro 16:4-note; 1Co 1:4, 14; 1Co 10:30; 11:24; 14:17, 18; 2Co 1:11; Ep 1:16-note; Eph 5:20; Php 1:3-note; Col 1:3-note, Col 1:12-note; Col 3:17-note; 1Th 1:2-note; 1Th 2:13-note; 1Th 5:18-note; 2Th 1:3; 2:13; Philemon. 1:4; Re 11:17-note

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (note) And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

It is notable that one the chief traits of unregenerate men is the failure to give thanks to God and their attitude of ingratitude is not without "natural" sequelae" Paul explaining…

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Ro 1:21 - see note)

This call to thankfulness for everything is found frequently in the New Testament --

Philippians 4:6 (note) Be anxious (present imperative = make this your habitual practice) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known (present imperative = make this your habitual practice) to God.

1Thessalonians 5:18 (note) in everything give thanks (present imperative = make this your habitual practice); for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

How is it possible to obey this command? When you are controlled by the Spirit and you grasp the truth that nothing happens in your life that is not filtered through the hands of your Loving Father, El Elyon, the Most High God (see El Elyon: Most High God - Sovereign Over All), then (filled with and empowered by His Spirit) you can withstand the trial, the affliction, the suffering. He is in (total) control and He has a purpose for the trial or suffering. You suffering will not be wasted. God is sovereign (See attribute of God's sovereignty) and therefore in control of the heavens and the earth and all the angelic hosts of heaven and no purpose of His can be thwarted, as Paul has already taught in Ephesians 1 writing…

also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, (See note Ephesians 1:11)

This same truth that God is in control of everything that occurs in our lives is seen elsewhere in Scripture…

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren (See notes Romans 8:28; 8:29)

(Joseph to his brothers held fast to this same truth declaring) And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. (Genesis 50:20)

(Job speaking to God affirms) "I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted." (Job 42:2)

Thanksgiving implies that the grateful person submits to the will of God, however His will is manifest. Why? Because it is only when we are fully convinced that God is working all things together for good (Ro 8:28, 29-note) that we can really give God thanks. Paul is cautioning against a whining, complaining, murmuring spirit which is really just an express one's lack of faith in God's goodness. James in the context of asking God for wisdom in trials writes that we are to

ask in faith (in context belief in God's goodness and kindness even in trials) without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man (a man of two minds - hesitating, irresolute), unstable (uncertain, unreliable) in all his ways. (James 1:6-8 - note)

Boice adds that "Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" True! Ingratitude in children wounds and sometimes kills. But how much more unnatural and repugnant is ingratitude in those who have become sons and daughters of the living God (living God = Mt 16:16, 26:63, Acts 14:15, Ro 9:26, 2Co 3:3, 6:16, 1Ti 3:15, 4:10, Heb 3:12, 9:14, 10:31,12:22, Re 7:2). It is so unnatural that a person may wonder if such a one has actually become a Christian in the first place. (Ephesians Commentary)

For (5228) (huper) means because of or in view of and in this context is used as a marker of cause or reason, often as in this verse with the implication of something which has been beneficial-

All things (3956) (pas) means all things! All without exception!

Not all prayer is spoken; singing is a high communication to the Lord and should be done from the heart. This verse is the first of two Pauline injunctions to thank God in all things.

Matthew Henry - We must continue it throughout the whole course of our lives; and we should give thanks for all things; not only for spiritual blessings enjoyed, and eternal ones expected (for what of the former we have in hand, and for what of the other we have in hope), but for temporal mercies too; not only for our comforts, but also for our sanctified afflictions; not only for what immediately concerns ourselves, but for the instances of God's kindness and favor to others also. It is our duty in every thing to give thanks unto God and the Father, to God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in him, in whose name we are to offer up all our prayers, and praises, and spiritual services, that they may be acceptable to God.

Michael Green records the following story from the life of the fourteenth-century German Johann Tauler, which aptly demonstrates something of the attitude Spirit filled disciples of Jesus should manifest…

One day Tauler met a beggar. ‘God give you a good day, my friend,’ he said.
The beggar answered, ‘I thank God I never had a bad one.’
Then Tauler said, ‘God give you a happy life, my friend.’
‘I thank God’, said the beggar, ‘that I am never unhappy.’
In amazement Tauler asked, ‘What do you mean?’
‘Well,’ said the beggar, ‘when it is fine I thank God. When it rains I thank God. When I have plenty I thank God. When I am hungry I thank God. And, since God’s will is my will, and whatever pleases him pleases me, why should I say I am unhappy when I am not?
Tauler looked at the man in astonishment. ‘Who are you?’ he asked.
‘I am a king,’ said the beggar.
‘Where, then, is your kingdom?’ asked Tauler.
The beggar replied quietly, ‘In my heart.’

R Kent Hughes writes that "the fullness of the Spirit does call us to a radical spirit of gratitude. We are to thank God in the midst of difficulties for everything which is consistent with his Fatherhood and his loving Son… The fullness of the Spirit rules out a grumbling, complaining, negative, sour spirit. No one can be Spirit-filled and traffic in these things. In America we, as a people, have so much. Yet we characteristically mourn what we do not have: another's house, car, job, vacation, even family (see word study on envy)! Such thanklessness indicates a life missing the fullness of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, a positive, thankful attitude announces the presence of the Spirit. I once met a pastor in a remote little western town. His church met in rented facilities, and his car had seen better days, as had his house-trailer. But as we walked down Main Street, stepping around the tumbleweeds, he remarked, "I can't believe how good God is to me. I have a wonderful wife, a church to serve, and sunshine 365 days a year!" And then he spent the day helping me set up a week-long outreach. What an argument for the reality of Christ and the life-changing power of the gospel in a world which has forgotten to be thankful (cf. Romans 1:21-note). (Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ (Preaching the Word -Preaching the Word 1990.)

Wiersbe has some excellent advice writing that "When a Christian finds himself in a difficult situation, he should immediately give thanks to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Spirit, to keep his heart from complaining and fretting. The devil moves in when a Christian starts to complain, but thanksgiving in the Spirit defeats the devil and glorifies the Lord. “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Th 5:18-note). The word gratitude comes from the same root word as grace (charis). If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us. Thank and think also come from the same root word. If we would think more, we would thank more (Ed: "Amen!"). (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor) (Bolding added)

Faber writes that…

If we had to name any one thing which seems unaccountably to have fallen out of most men's practical religion altogether, it would be the duty of thanksgiving. It is not easy to exaggerate the common neglect of this duty. There is little enough of prayer; but there is still less of thanksgiving… Alas! it is not hard to find the reason of this. Our own interests drive us obviously to prayer; but it is love alone which leads to thanksgiving. (Faber, All for Jesus, pp. 208, 209)

W. L. Watkinson writes that…

The Spirit of Thankfulness ought to be the temper of our whole life—'giving thanks always for all things'. (1) God merits our thanks, if such an expression may be allowed. Our very being is His wondrous gift. The things which gladden and go to the enrichment and perfecting of life are His gifts. And as He is the supreme giver, so is He the source of all our blessing. (2) God expects our thanks. We cannot believe that the living God is indifferent to the Spirit in which His boons are accepted. Our nature teaches us better. He whom we worship is not the great machinist, chemist, or artist—such a being might be insensible to gratitude; but we give thanks 'to God, even the Father,' and it is impossible to think that love and gratitude have no place in our relation to Him.

This spirit of thankfulness is possible only in the grace and power of Jesus Christ. The name of Christ is that general and holy element, as it were, in which everything is to be received, to be enjoined, to be done, and to be suffered. The Spirit of the natural man is the spirit of criticism and depreciation. Dowered with treasures of light and darkness, inheriting a large and wealthy place, the language of discontent is our native speech. Let us see, then, how in the Christian life these infinite repinings are changed into praise.

(1) The truth and grace of Jesus Christ make thankfulness possible by convincing us of our true position before God. Ingratitude, in the main, arises out of infinite and inveterate conceit. Satisfied that we are worthy of the greatest of God's gifts, we really appreciate none. Here the truth of the Gospel effects a fundamental change; it convinces us that we are sinners, without merit and rights; and in doing this, gives a new standpoint whence we view the whole field of life.

(2) Christ makes thankfulness possible through restoring in us the spiritual faculty by which we discern the greatness and sweetness of all things. Genius shows itself and its transcendence by discerning the grandeur, romance, and joy of all things great or small. The Spirit of Christ creates in us a faculty of spiritual appreciation corresponding to genius in the mental realm.

(3) Christ makes the habit of thankfulness possible by assuring us that the painful things of life serve equally with the brightest. The 'all things' must not be limited to agreeable things. 'Forget not all His benefits.' We cannot recall all the treasures of the deep along whose shore we have travelled; but we can keep a few pearly shells which retain the echoes of the vast music of the ocean of the eternal love (W. L. Watkinson, Themes for Hours of Meditation)

Paul himself is an example of constant thanksgiving for all of his Epistles (except Galatians, 1Timothy, and Titus) open with thanksgiving. And how could the Philippians forget Paul's example in the dungeon at Philippi when at

about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25).

MacArthur explains that God’s promises support the reasonableness of saints always offering thanksgiving to God regardless of the circumstances for He

has promised that no trial believers face will be too difficult for them to handle (1Cor 10:13). He has also promised to use everything that happens in believers’ lives for their ultimate good (Ro 8:28)… People become worried, anxious, and fearful because they do not trust in God’s wisdom, power, or goodness. They fear that God is not wise enough, strong enough, or good enough to prevent disaster. It may be that this sinful doubt is because their knowledge of Him is faulty, or that sin in their lives has crippled their faith. Thankful prayer brings release from fear and worry, because it affirms God’s sovereign control over every circumstance, and that His purpose is the believer’s good (cf Ge 50:20). (MacArthur, J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)

Hiebert writes that…

The Christian should meet adverse circumstances of life not with a spirit of stoic resignation but with a spirit of unfailing gratitude. Paul and Silas had exemplified this spirit when imprisoned at Philippi (Acts 16:25). Such an attitude is made possible only by the grace of God. It can become a vital reality only when the truth of Ro 8:28-note is experienced. When we realize that God works all things out for good to those who love Him and are yielded to His will, thanksgiving under all circumstances becomes a glorious possibility "He who can say `Amen' to the will of God in his heart will be able to say 'Hallelujah' also."' It is typical of a life of unbelief that it lacks thanksgiving (Ro 1:21-note), but a life united with God in Christ Jesus is characterized by a spirit of thanksgiving (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 & 2 Thessalonians: BMH Book. 1996)

Barnes commenting on 1Thes 5:18 notes that believers…

can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning. Chrysostom, once the archbishop of Constantinople, and then driven into exile, persecuted, and despised, died far away from all the splendours of the capital, and all the comforts and honours which he had enjoyed, uttering his favourite motto -- glory to God for all things. Bibliotheca Sacra, i. 700. So we may praise God for everything that happens to us under His government. A man owes a debt of obligation to Him for anything which will recall him from his wanderings, and which will prepare him for heaven. Are there any dealings of God towards men which do not contemplate such an end? Is a man ever made to drink the cup of affliction when no drop of mercy is intermingled? Is he ever visited with calamity which does not in some way contemplate his own temporal or eternal good? Could we see all, we should see that we are never placed in circumstances in which there is not much for which we should thank God. And when, in his dealings, a cloud seems to cover his face, let us remember the good things without number which we have received, and especially remember that we are in the world of redeeming love, and we shall find enough for which to be thankful.

For this is the will of God. That is, that you should be grateful. This is what God is pleased to require you to perform in the name of the Lord Jesus. In the gift of that Saviour he has laid the foundation for that claim, and he requires that you should not be unmindful of the obligation. (cf note Hebrews 13:15). (Barnes' Notes)

J Vernon McGee commenting on 1Thes 5:18 writes that give thanks in everything means "in all circumstances, not just once a year, but all the time. This "is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." If you come to me and ask what is the will of God for you, I can tell you three specific things that are the will of God for you: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything. That is the will of God for you. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

Bible Background Commentary wrote that even the "Pagans who recognized that Fate or some god was sovereign over everything acknowledged that one should accept whatever comes or even give thanks for it. For Paul, those who trust God’s sovereignty and love can give thanks in every situation." (Keener, Craig: The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. 1994. IVP)

Merrill Unger wrote that thanksgiving is "A duty of which gratitude is the grace. This obligation of godliness is acknowledged by the universal sentiment of mankind; but as a Christian grace it has some blessed peculiarities. It is gratitude for all the benefits of divine Providence, especially for the general and personal gifts of redemption. The very term most in use shows this; it is charis, which is the grace of God in Christ, operating in the soul of the believer as a principle and going back to Him in gratitude: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2Co 9:15). The ethical gratitude of Christianity connects every good gift and every perfect gift with the gift of Christ. Moreover, it is a thanksgiving that in the Christian economy, and in it alone, redounds to God for all things: in everything give thanks. This characteristic flows from the former. The rejoicing that we have in the Lord, and the everlasting consolation we possess in Him, makes every possible variety of divine dispensation a token for good. The Christian privilege is to find reason for gratitude in all things: “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians. 5:18). (Unger, M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press)

In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H. A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don't." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."

The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!"

Ironside said, "Yes, you're just like my dog. That's what he does too!" (Ray Stedman, Folk Psalms of Faith)

In a sermon at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, Gary Wilburn said: "In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years' War, a German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, and average of fifteen a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children:

'Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices
Who wondrous things had done
In whom His world rejoices.

Who, from our mother's arms,
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today

Here was a man who knew thanksgiving comes from love of God, not from outward circumstances. (Don Maddox)

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself…

Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.

Much to his surprise, however, Pastor Whyte began by praying…

We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.

That's the habitual attitude of gratitude Paul says should characterize Spirit filled saints, beloved. Gratitude is an attitude that like all spiritual disciplines, needs to be consciously developed and deliberately cultivated in the dependence on the Holy Spirit (cp Ep 5:18-note) and the grace in which we stand (Ro 5:2-note). There are some practical steps that can cultivate the gracious attribute of gratitude. For example, you can make thanksgiving a priority in your prayer life (Col 4:2-note) rather than focusing only on petitions and requests. There may even be blessed times when your prayer time consists of nothing but gratefulness to the Almighty. You can always thank Him for the various wonderful aspects of your salvation (adoption & sovereign care, forgiveness, inheritance, the gift of His Spirit, freedom from sin's power and Satan's authority, etc) Have you had any prayer times like that recently?

And you can thank Him for the "smaller" blessings of life, those things we all to often take for granted. You can ask Him to make you very sensitive to grumbling and mumbling complaints which are the polar opposite of a thankful spirit. You can utilize spiritual songs (Eph 5:20) to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness, allowing the words of a wonderful hymn to lift your eyes and heart in a way that nothing else can. Thank people who bless you in even the smallest ways. It will complete your enjoyment of the blessing, and it will increase your capacity to thank God. Reflect on and serve those less fortunate than you. This will remind you of how gracious God has been to you, how far He has brought you, and how much He has blessed you—which will in turn motivate you to be grateful to God.

Spurgeon admits that in regard to giving thanks…

I have not always found it easy to practice this duty; this I confess to my shame. When suffering extreme pain some time ago, a brother in Christ said to me, "Have you thanked God for this?" I replied that I desired to be patient, and would be thankful to recover. "But," said he, "in everything give thanks, not after it is over, but while you are still in it, and perhaps when you are enabled to give thanks for the severe pain, it will cease." I believe that there was much force in that good advice. (Ed note: I agree but would add that even if the pain doesn't cease, one's heart assumes a proper perspective to pain).

As John Piper asks "How can we not be thankful when we owe everything to God?" (A Godward Life)

Torrey's Topic

  • Christ set an example of -Matthew 11:25; 26:27; John 6:11; 11:41
  • The heavenly host engaged in -Revelation 4:9; 7:11,12; 11:16,17
  • Commanded -Psalms 50:14; Philippians 4:6
  • Is a good thing -Psalms 92:1


  • To God -Psalms 50:14
  • To Christ -1 Timothy 1:12
  • Through Christ -Romans 1:8; Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 13:15
  • In the name of Christ -Ephesians 5:20
  • In behalf of ministers -2Corinthians 1:11
  • In private worship -Daniel 6:10
  • In public worship -Psalms 35:18
  • In everything -1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • Upon the completion of great undertakings -Nehemiah 12:31,40
  • Before taking food -John 6:11; Acts 27:35
  • Always -Ephesians 1:16; 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:2
  • At the remembrance of God’s holiness -Psalms 30:4; 97:12
  • For the goodness and mercy of God -Psalms 106:1; 107:1; 136:1, 2, 3
  • For the gift of Christ -2 Corinthians 9:15
  • For Christ’s power and reign -Revelation 11:17
  • For the reception and effectual working of the word of God In others -1 Thessalonians 2:13
  • For deliverance through Christ from in-dwelling sin -Romans 7:23-25
  • For victory over death and the grave -1 Corinthians 15:57
  • For wisdom and might -Daniel 2:23
  • For the triumph of the gospel -2 Corinthians 2:14
  • For the conversion of others -Romans 6:17
  • For faith exhibited by others -Romans 1:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3
  • For love exhibited by others -2 Thessalonians 1:3
  • For the grace bestowed on others -1 Corinthians 1:4; Philippians 1:3-5; Colossians 1:3-6
  • For the zeal exhibited by others -2 Corinthians 8:16
  • For the nearness of God’s presence -Psalms 75:1
  • For appointment to the ministry -1 Timothy 1:12
  • For willingness to offer our property for God’s service -1 Chronicles 29:6-14
  • For the supply of our bodily wants -Romans 14:6,7; 1 Timothy 4:3,4
  • For all men -1 Timothy 2:1
  • For all things -2 Corinthians 9:11; Ephesians 5:20
  • Should be accompanied by intercession for others -1 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4
  • Should always accompany prayer -Nehemiah 11:17; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2
  • Should always accompany praise -Psalms 92:1; Hebrews 13:15
  • Expressed in psalms -1 Chronicles 16:7
  • Ministers appointed to offer, in public -1 Chronicles 16:4,7; 23:30; 2 Chronicles 31:2


  • Exhorted to -Psalms 105:1; Colossians 3:15
  • Resolved to offer -Psalms 18:49; 30:12
  • Habitually offer -Daniel 6:10
  • Offer sacrifices of -Psalms 116:17
  • Abound in the faith with -Colossians 2:7
  • Magnify God by -Psalms 69:30
  • Come before God with -Psalms 95:2
  • Should enter God’s gate with -Psalms 100:4
  • Of hypocrites, full of boasting -Luke 18:11
  • The wicked averse to -Romans 1:21


  • David -1 Chronicles 29:12
  • Levites -2 Chronicles 5:12,13
  • Daniel -Daniel 2:23
  • Jonah -Jonah 2:9
  • Simeon -Luke 2:28
  • Anna -Luke 2:38
  • Paul -Acts 28:15

IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TO GOD, EVEN THE FATHER: en onomati tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou to theo kai patri:

As Moule explains that in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ means "resting on Him, (relying on) Him as Mediator and Advocate." (Ephesian Studies: Expository Readings on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians) Based on the authority of the Name of Jesus and the privileged introduction that Name provides, so that through Jesus (in the Name) we might come into the very throne room of God (cf Ro 5:2 = "through Whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.").

In Colossians Paul wrote

Whatever (AN ALL INCLUSIVE TERM) you do in word (TEACH, PREACH, PRAY, SING, WORSHIP, ETC) or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. (Col 3:17-note)

Name (3686) (onoma) the proper name of a person or object. In antiquity "the name" meant much more than it does today. We use a name as little more than a distinguishing mark or label to differentiate one person from other people. But in the world of the NT the name concisely sums up all that a person is. One's whole character was implied in the name. We see this principle especially in the OT Names of God, where each new name conveyed a new attribute or characteristic of God. See Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower - Summary Chart

       There is a Name, a wondrous Name,
       Of infinite and endless fame,
       Of God beloved, by saints revered,
       By angels and archangels feared,
       Ordained by God, 'ere the world began,
       Revealed by angels unto man,
       Proclaimed by men, believed, adored,
       By hearts and prayer and praise outpoured.
       The theme of prophets, priests, and kings,
       The Word of which sweet psalmists sing,
       By pilgrims blessed, by suff'ers sung,
       The last word breathed by martyr's tongue,
       The Name most precious and sublime,
       Supreme in faith, supreme in time,
       Destined to live and conquer all,
       'Til all knees everywhere shall fall
       And tongue confess—what God proclaimed—
       This Name to be the Name of names,
       The Name which in high heaven will be
       The one Name of eternity:
       Then, oh my soul, its praise forth tell
       Jesus—the Name ineffable!

Christ (5547) (Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah.

Father (3962) (pater) is defined as the genitor, by whom one is begotten. Father in the Bible speaks of the Supreme Deity, Who is the responsible for the origin and care of all that exists. The OT only rarely uses Father in reference to God (some 14x), which made Jesus' instruction on the pattern of the disciples' prayer in Mt 6:9-note somewhat of a radical teaching (i.e., telling the disciples to address God as their Father!)

God is not the Father of every human being but only those who are "born again" (John 3:3). Father is God's family name which can be uttered with its full significance only by His children, those in the family having been born again by His Spirit.

Pater is one of the titles for God and is a name which combines the aspects of supernatural authority and care for His people. Note that the word “Abba” is the Aramaic word for “Father.” Aramaic is the language which the Jews spoke in Palestine in the first century. Thus the words “Abba, Father,” were a formula familiar to the bilingual Palestinian Church.

In the spiritual sense, God becomes our Father when we are saved we are brought into His family…

(Jesus) came to His own (most feel this refers to the Jewish nation), and those who were His own did not receive Him (most of the Jews rejected His Messiahship). But (blessed "but"!) as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe (by grace through faith we are saved) in His name (Because His Name stands for everything Jesus was and is and will be), who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (supernaturally, miraculously by His Spirit's work in our heart). (John 1:11, 12, 13)

Comment: It follows that only believers can refer to God as their Father. There are only two spiritual families in the world. Everyone who refuses to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord belongs to the "other family," whose is headed by their spiritual father Satan (Jn 8:44).

Now as His children we can approach Him as a child does his father for we are objects of His special watch care and love! This is a blessed thought which should encourage our praying, fully confident that He hears us.

Let us therefore (Context = Heb 4:14-note, Heb 4:15-note) draw near with confidence (the idea is with boldness before the Holy God because of the work of our Great High Priest - cp Heb 10:19, 20, 21-note, Heb 10:22-note) to the throne of grace (the throne we do not and cannot merit, but which Jesus' blood merits for us forever! Praise the Name of Jesus!), that we may receive mercy (Implication is that this our great need for although saved, we still commit sins which otherwise, outside of Christ, would merit death, not mercy - mercy is not giving us what we deserve - Hallelujah!) and may find grace (grace is giving us what we don't deserve!) to help in time of need ("in the nick of time"). (He 4:16-note)

Comment: The other side of this truth, is that when we sin, we don't sin in a vacuum, but we sin against God our Father and just as an earthly father is grieved, so too is our Father in heaven. Fellowship is disturbed and needs to be restored. Based on the atoning work of the blood of Lamb of God (1Jn 2:1), we can come to God and confess our sins and even boldly beseech His forgiveness (being sure that we have forgiven others - see Mt 6:12, 13, 14).